We can barely keep up now. If you haven't been following, Europe is fully on board now with 350kW ultra-fast charging technology, even before an electric car can harness all that power.
The continent is committed to a future-proof charging infrastructure and now a fifth network is beginning to install the new and more powerful stations.
The first network to come to light was Ionity, backed by BMW, Mercedes, Ford and Volkswagen. As we reported earlier this week, it's starting to take shape and we take our first look at their map of planned stations.
Then there was the Ultra-E, backed by Allego, Audi, BMW, Magna, Renault, Hubject, and others.
Then Allego recently launched another larger network called MEGA-E, which represents a massive effort to deploy more than 300 stations.
But that's not all because last month Renault, which is already involved with one of those 3 networks, decided to back another in southern Europe.
Now it's up to Fastned to come on board with an ultra-fast 350 kW charge joining electrification and robotics giant ABB.
The company already operates a network of fast charging stations in Europe, mainly in the Netherlands, but they have been expanding, as we previously reported.
This week, they opened their first 350 kW station in the 'De Watering' service area located on the A8 motorway near Amsterdam:
Fastned co-founder Bart Lubbers commented on the new charging station:
“I am very proud of our new station. María García, our architect, has put a lot of energy into an iconic design that is better in every detail and that is visible. It is very important to increase the charging speed as it makes driving electric vehicles attractive to more people. Because the question that almost all consumers ask is "How long does it take to get paid?"
The company says they are preparing for the next generation of next-generation electric vehicles that will support the highest rate of charge, which is why they are adding those new 350 kW chargers to their network.
Fastned currently operates 63 charging stations.
Most of those "next generation electric vehicles that will support a higher charge rate" come from German automakers and are expected to hit the European market first.
It makes sense for them to deploy the stations there first, and for automakers to directly support several of those efforts as well, although not this one, as Fastned is a separate network already up and running.
These are certainly interesting times to load infrastructure and I think some competition between networks could really shape the industry into something bigger.
The next few years could be almost as exciting on the load as it is on the actual vehicle side of things.
Original article (in English)